predator 2

Predator 2 Movie Review – Starring Tom Hanks and Kurt Russell

Predator 2 is one of the most talked about movies of the year. It’s a low-budget horror film directed by Wes Ball, based on the book by Eric Carle. The original novel had much meatier content and dealt with the repercussions of a nuclear war. Here, director Wes Ball gives us a film that is light on its feet and heavy on the terror.

We open up our investigation into the psyche of a group of teenagers in Montana. They’re part of a small group of survivors who are holed up in an old house. The father (Beverly D’Angelo) of one of the teenagers has gone off to serve his own personal revenge against the president (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Meanwhile, the other boys and girls have run into trouble and the group must work together to survive.

As the movie progresses, we find out that this father did not kill his family. In fact, he was trying to hire someone to kill his family so that he could get his revenge. The man we see in the background of the movie (Max Allen), is one of the FBI agents whose job is to watch over the children in these isolated areas. He’s basically a caretaker for the kids.

Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the title role of Eric Allen, the police officer who goes on the hunt for the killers. His character is more like a fatherly figure to these children than a police officer. In one scene he comments to Buzz Cutter (Karen Allen), “You’ve made a real bad choice”. The comment sends Buzz over the edge and he immediately identifies himself to the police officer. This instantly makes him a target.

One of the more memorable scenes involves the home of Vivienne Westwood, played by Barbara Hershey. The two are seen walking through the front door when a shotgun blast hits them both in the upper torso. Vivienne, taken for granted by her parents, does not make a sound. As she is dying, she pleads with her mother to take her own life rather than being an object of science, and her mother obliges. As the camera slowly moves to one side, we see that her organs have been removed, presumably to prevent death, and we are left wondering what she is doing there – and why she was in the first place.

When we next see Eric Allen he is being held captive in a cabin along the Columbia River. While some of the other men are being tortured, Eric makes his way out of the shackles and into the center of the action… where a vicious predator awaits. The two men have been separated just prior to the scene, and it is here that we learn that Eric has gone mad. In one scene, he is seen pointing a gun directly at John Proctor (Kevin Pollack). This is the second time that this has happened – and by the end of the film, we know exactly why.

The subsequent few minutes of the film are those that define the brilliance of the movie. Eric is cornered by this monster who he cannot see and who apparently senses him. Once he draws near enough, he raises the gun and fires… but only after the creature lunges for his life. We then see that John Proctor has run off to warn the others, while Eric remains trapped with the monster near him.

Once the movie wraps up, we find ourselves right where we started the first, and the first glimpse of the villain is followed by one where we have ascertained that he is, in fact, the same predator from the first film. Finally, he is confronted by Eric who threatens to reveal his past if the latter does not go on with his quest. The result is that the hunter flees, and Eric get his revenge, shooting and killing the previous predator. We get to see the aftermath of the fight (including a bloody shower scene), and after a few minutes more we watch the man who did the killing flee through a drainage pipe.